- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 13, 2002

The Washington Redskins completed their first contract agreement with a 2002 draft pick yesterday, signing fifth-round safety Andre Lott.
Lott, 22, should compete for playing time in training camp against veterans Sam Shade and David Terrell, both returning starters, and promising second-year player Ifeanyi Ohalete. Lott played safety and cornerback on some outstanding defenses at Tennessee but his coverage skills were considered somewhat lacking.
The Redskins hope to sign nine other draft picks, including first-round quarterback Patrick Ramsey, before camp opens July 23 in Carlisle, Pa.
Signings have come slowly league-wide this summer because the rookie pool, or salary cap value allotted to rookies, remained flat from last season. Rookies have tried to eke out small gains in signing bonus over players drafted in their position last year, but there technically isn't room for everyone to get increases. Thus the deals for top picks are expected to be more creative.
The Redskins have a bit more time pressure to sign their picks than other clubs; their camp starts early because of the Aug.3 American Bowl exhibition in Osaka, Japan.
Washington negotiated with several other draft picks this week, particularly late-round players: seventh-rounders Rock Cartwright (fullback), Greg Scott (defensive end) and Jeff Grau (long snapper), and sixth-round tackle Reggie Coleman. Several of those players could sign Monday.
There have only been preliminary conversations so far between the club and agent Jimmy Sexton regarding Ramsey. Sexton also represents Coleman.
The signing of Ramsey is particularly important because he made tremendous strides late in offseason practices and now might make a run at the starting job. Although Ramsey lacks knowledge and experience, his arm is extremely impressive and stands out among veterans Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel and Sage Rosenfels.

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